Sunday, May 22, 2011

Aging Gracefully - Part IV

"Timeless" by Under the Glass
Part IV in a series of musings and ramblings concerning turning 50.  Today's entry is a continuation of my version of "I'm Over All That", based on the book by Shirley MacLaine

I’m over gossip.  “Refuse to waste time dwelling on the faults of others.” (Nothing's Too Small by Urbanska and Levering)  What is happening in someone else’s life is only relevant to me if I can “rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.” (Romans 12:15)  Otherwise it’s not my business.

I’m over drama.  Urban Dictionary defines drama as 
1. overreacting or greatly exaggerating the importance of benign events.
2. making a big deal over something unnecessarily.

It has become the lifeblood of teens and the favorite hobby of way too many adults.  I’ve had enough to last at least another fifty years.  Over it, over it, over it!

I’m over “stuff”.    The American Dream has become a nightmare of “possession overload.”   I can’t remember where I heard this saying, but I love it:  “We buy stuff we don’t need with money we don’t have to impress people we don’t like.” 

While packing for our recent move, Dave and I did some major “shedding” of stuff.  I got rid of things I had kept only because they were gifts, or because they were too good to throw away.  We had a garage sale, gave some to friends, donated some to the thrift store, and made many, many trips to the dumpster.  Although we are now in a smaller house, it gives me a more spacious feeling because I know what we have and I know where it is. (Except the stuff I don’t put back where it belongs, or the stuff I laid down and then forgot…) 

I’m not proposing emptying my house and living in a tent.   I’m proposing exchanging quantity for quality. If I have less, I can have better – and still save money.  The key is in having only things I really like.  Mahatma Ghandi said, “As long as you derive inner help and comfort from anything, you should keep it… Only give up a thing when you want some other condition so much that the thing no longer has any attraction for you.”   I want the joy of being surrounded by things I love, and the simplicity of having less, more than I want the actual stuff.

Having only things you love can’t be accomplished overnight, unless a) you can afford to refurnish your entire house in one shopping trip, b) you have no possessions you bought just because they were a good deal, or c) you have no possessions you really don’t like but they were gifts so guilt is kicking in.  I have a $12 lamp on my end table that I bought because I needed a lamp and it was a bargain.  In fact, it wasn’t a bargain - it was a cheap lamp that frequently falls apart.  Some day I will replace it with a higher quality lamp that I really like and will be happy with for years.  Then I’ll be out the cost of the new lamp, plus $12.  In the mean time, I still need a lamp on that table so it remains.  Which brings me to my next point…

I’m over “recreational shopping”.   This is how the cheap lamp ended up on my table.  I wasn't lamp shopping, I was just wandering,  looking for "stuff".  Had I been on a purposeful shopping trip to purchase a lamp, I wouldn't have been in Dollar General.  
Shopping as a hobby or as therapy breeds discontent, empties my purse, and fills my house with all that stuff I ended up shedding.  I can walk into Target as a perfectly content woman who just needs to pick up a set of shower curtain rings, and within ten minutes I am certain that my life can not continue without DwellStudio Bird and Blossom decorative pillows.  And I will certainly never find happiness if I don’t have the Tassimo Hot Beverage System in Glamour Red.  Just minutes ago life was good, but now I’m sad because I don’t have all this stuff!

I’ll never be over doing the right thing – even though it has been proven that, occasionally, it will come back and bite you in the ass.  Hypothetically (wink, wink), you could do the right thing at work and it ends up costing you your job.  But still do the right thing the next time.

I’ll never be over creating.  I believe we are made in God’s image and, since He is the Creator, we have an innate desire to create also.  Whether it is writing, quilting, knitting, carpentry, cooking, glass-blowing or party planning – we all have a need to express ourselves.

To be continued...


  1. turning 50 does change your perspective--I'm so over "stuff" too! I throw away everything. I spent Saturday going through some boxes that haven't been opened for decades. It felt to good to get rid of it. Thanks for stopping by.

  2. Hey sis - these are awesome writings! I think I need to sit down and really do some soul searching - I am in NEED of being over some things! Did you really post at 5 a.m.? Love ya!